Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

This lesson plan accompanies the BrainPOP topic, Scientific Process, and can be completed over several class periods. See suggested times for each section.



Students will:

Activate prior knowledge about the scientific process–what is it used for, the steps, how have they used it, etc 

Identify details about the steps of the scientific process (e.g., observation, hypothesis) 

Use critical thinking skills to analyze why the scientific process is a cycle and not linear.

Demonstrate understanding through creative projects, such as making a sorting game, producing a nature documentary, or coding a meme.

Present projects and reflect on new understandings.



For background on the Scientific Process topic, click the Full Description link below the movie player.

The INVESTIGATE and CREATE sections of the lesson require students to use Make-a-Map and Creative Coding projects. Assign the Scientific Process Make-a-Map to the class in advance of the lesson. 



Approximate time: 20 minutes

Begin the lesson plan by activating students’ prior knowledge and making real-life connections.  Then show the movie to introduce the topic. 

  1. DISPLAY this Anchor Question on whiteboard and read it aloud: Why is the scientific process cyclical and not linear? Tell students they will investigate this question over the course of the lesson and will return to it at the end.
  2. ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE by having pairs or small groups share with each other what they know about the scientific process or discuss times they’ve used it.
  3. ASK students how the scientific process is like solving a mystery. Jot their ideas on the board. Read aloud the description below the movie player. 
  4. MAKE CONNECTIONS by having students think about a mystery in nature they wonder about. Ask how they might go about solving the mystery. 
  5. WATCH the movie Scientific Process as a whole class on the whiteboard. Turn on the closed caption option to aid in comprehension.



Approximate time: 20-25 minutes

Prompt students’ inquiry and critical thinking skills by having them find key details to build knowledge and understanding.


  1. Students open their Make-a-Map Assignment and select or create a cycle map. They type the question they will investigate at the top: 

What are the steps of the scientific process and what happens in each?

       2. As students watch the movie again, they identify the steps of the scientific process as well as        details about each step. Evidence can include text, images, and movie clips.

       3. Students SUBMIT their maps when they are done.

       EXTRA CHALLENGE: Prompt students to include real-life examples of each step, either from the movie or their own experiences with the scientific process. 

       SUPPORT TIP: Help students by identifying one of the steps and a detail about it, and model how to add it to the concept map.  



Approximate time: 45-60 minutes

Students demonstrate their understanding by synthesizing their ideas and expressing them through one or more of the following hands-on, creative projects.  They can work individually or collaborate. Remind them to use evidence from their concept maps in their creations.


  •  Which Step Is It?:  Code a game that challenges players to sort details about the scientific process by the different steps..
  • Dark Matter Mini-Doc: Complete the worksheet activity conducting research about dark matter. Then use your notes to produce a mini-documentary.
  • Scientific Process Meme: Code a meme about one step of the scientific process.  



Wrap up the lesson with student presentations and a final reflection on learning.

PRESENT: Students present their completed projects to their classmates. 

WRAP UP: Draw attention to the Anchor Question again: How can understanding the coronavirus make it less scary?  Students answer the question using their new knowledge.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments